Aoki has been white-hot with 11 hits in his last 13 at-bats to raise his average 16 points to .281 - no easy feat at this time of year. That mark is at its highest point since May 25, but his overall hot streak has extended back to Aug. 27. Aoki has hit safely in all but four games since then and is 28 for 72 during that stretch.
Paredes has received an increasing number of plate appearances, particularly since the loss of Chris Davis to a drug suspension. He has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games with 13 hits, including two home runs, in 33 at-bats. He has eight RBI and seven runs scored during that stretch.
He boasts a tremendous stat line of .358/.383/.578.
Garcia is 17 for 57 since then with one home run and nine RBI. But he has just one extra-base hit since Sept. 3. His stat line now sits at .254/.318/.413.
Cain has hit so well that he has been moved to the third spot in the lineup. He has hit safely in seven of his last eight games with 12 hits in 32 at-bats during that run. Cain has eight RBI and seven runs scored in his last 10 games, sweetening his stat line on the season to .298/.337/.413. He has also contributed 25 stolen bases.
A 19-for-74 stretch might not seem like much, but it's an encouraging run for
Grandal began the comparative hot stretch on Aug. 26. He has three home runs and 10 RBI in 20 games during that period, but remains a windmill at the plate. He has 19 strikeouts in the last 16 games and has fanned 102 times in 345 at-bats this season.
LeBlanc has been fine in relief with four consecutive scoreless appearances covering five innings. But he surrendered six earned runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings in an Aug. 25 start against Miami. He owns a 6.88 ERA on the season.
Escobar hurt the shoulder diving for a ball Tuesday and was forced out of the game.
Burnett indicated that he felt terrible much of the year, though he used an unprintable word. Ryne Sandberg said Wednesday, however, that he was unaware of any such problem for Burnett aside from an inguinal hernia that has been known since April.
The veteran starter is 8-17 with a disappointing 4.40 ERA. He leads the majors in losses and walks (87), but is set to make $12.75 million in 2015. Sandberg has been impressed with his durability - Burnett has made 32 starts this season.
"If anything he has displayed just the opposite," Sandberg said about Burnett's health. "Very durable guy with innings, the length that he does give, durable arm. The hernia thing ... from my knowledge, that's been a non-issue."
"I'm pretty satisfield with that being my first game," he told MLB.com. "Obviously you'd like a better outcome in terms of winning the game. But I was pretty satisfied with my overall approach and the way I stepped in today and had some results."
Castillo snagged the only ball hit his way in the outfield.
The ankle injury that
Though he was removed from the game in the fourth inning against Washington and was walking with a noticeable limp after the game, Simmons said it wasn't hurting him.
"It's not a sprained ankle," Fredi Gonzalez said. "It's more of an Achilles thing, up high, that bites him every once in a while. I didn't want to take a chance with it."
Simmons ended his six-game hitting streak with a 0-for-2 performance and now owns a stat line of .251/.297/.374.
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